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Te Ikaroa – Seismic Testing Presents Significant Risk To East Coast

Written By: - Date published: 9:46 pm, November 15th, 2016 - 64 comments
Categories: climate change, energy, Environment, peak oil - Tags: , , ,

Via Scoop

Te Ikaroa – Defending Our Waters Press Release

SEISMIC TESTING PRESENTS SIGNIFICANT RISK TO EAST COAST

Anti-seismic-testing campaign group Te Ikaroa are calling upon the government to immediately halt all seismic testing along the eastern seaboard, on the heels of this morning’s 7.5 earthquake in Canterbury.

A peace flotilla in the Wellington harbour yesterday was organised by Oil Free Wellington in protest to the arrival of the world’s largest seismic testing vessel, The Amazon Warrior. The vessel, here to commence seismic testing for oil along the eastern seaboard, is currently unable to enter Wellington harbour due to significant structural quake damage at the port.

“Te Ikaroa are first and foremost concerned for the wellbeing of whānau along the eastern seaboard who are in fear of their own wellbeing and that of their whanau. In particular we extend our deepest sympathies to those who are grieving the loss of their loved ones in Kaikoura and Mount Lyford” says Tina Ngata, environmentalist and Te Ikaroa campaigner.

“This morning’s earthquake has demonstrated the seismic vulnerability of the eastern seaboard of Aotearoa. Here on the East Coast, we are close to the Hikurangi tectonic plate boundary which lies just off the coast. This is the boundary between the Australian plate and the Pacific plate, and it is constantly shifting. Some of the very best scientists in our country, including the government’s lead geologists, have noted the seismic vulnerability of this region. To heighten the risk of a seismic event by seismic blasting along this plate boundary defies all common sense – especially while we are still experiencing aftershocks. The last thing we need right now is for another event to be triggered through seismic testing. We are calling upon John Key to demonstrate his concern for the wellbeing of the communities along the eastern seaboard by immediately halting all seismic testing pending a review of the current level of risk.” The Amazon Warrior is due to commence imminent seismic testing for oil on behalf of Norwegian Oil giant Statoil. Seismic testing involves the dragging of a seismic airgun along the seabed, emitting seismic blasts every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day, from now until next May. Statoil acquired their permit from American multinational oil corporation Chevron, and the permit extends along the eastern seaboard and to depths that are unprecedented for New Zealand. Seismic blasting has been proven to be disruptive and harmful to sea life, including marine mammals, and is opposed by coastal fishing interests and eco-tourism operators including Ngāi Tahu’s Whale Watch ventures.

Earlier this month, a petition was launched demanding that the Norwegian government, who hold the majority of shares for Statoil, withdraw the testing vessel from these waterways and denying consent for Statoil’s exploratory activities. The petition has been endorsed by over 60 hapu and iwi groups along the eastern seaboard, from the top of the South Island up to the East Cape of the North Island, and more are endorsing the call by the day.

“Hapu and iwi are very concerned about the impacts of seismic testing and seabed mining – and this is why many of them opposed the oil block offer in the first place” says Ms Ngata. “It’s appalling that government ignored the significant formal opposition to the block offer and are allowing this very risky practice to go ahead. We are concerned not only for the impacts of seismic testing and drilling upon quake vulnerability but also for the impacts that seismic testing has proven to have upon sea mammals, fish populations and delicate marine ecosystems. We’re also extremely concerned thatMaritime New Zealand has no vessels that can clean up a spill at the proposed depth, so a spill would have devastating results.” Further protests took place in Napier yesterday, where crowds gathered to voice their opposition to the activity. Event organiser Erena Tomoana noted that traditional ocean voyagers, hapu leaders and local community members turned out in force to express strong objections to the presence of Statoil and Chevron.

The petition launched by Te Ikaroa also invites support signatures from the broader New Zealand public, and has thus far collected nearly 1000 signatures from across New Zealand. The online petition can be signed at: https://www.toko.org.nz/petitions/norway-statoil-is-not-welcome-in-our-waters

Update – see discussion here and here on the science refuting that seismic testing is a quake risk.

 

64 comments on “Te Ikaroa – Seismic Testing Presents Significant Risk To East Coast”

  1. One Two 2

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/the-press/5714919/Big-quake-fails-to-stop-Texas-oil-giant

    There are commonalities with events in time preceding, and post the Christchurch quakes

    The above link is a singular example

  2. Yep unacceptable. This must be stopped.

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    There’s a reason Wikipedia’s article on induced seismicity doesn’t mention seismic testing. It’s the same reason Greenpeace don’t mention earthquakes in their objections to seismic tests. Can anyone guess what that reason is?

    There are plenty of good grounds to oppose seabed mining and/or oil prospecting without resorting to pseudoscience.

    • weka 4.1

      You want to make a point about science and you want people to guess what it is? Try making the point directly OAB instead of expecting people to mindread.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1

        There’s no evidence that seismic testing causes earthquakes; pretending there is simply undermines credibility, and therefore the rest of the perfectly good arguments against it.

        • weka 4.1.1.1

          From mind-reading to mindless arrogance, great.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.1.1

            What?

            You asked me to make the point more clearly. What’s arrogant about pointing out there’s zero evidence? What’s arrogant about wanting the best arguments brought against seismic surveys?

            Lose the hostility.

            [You can see in the discussion below what I was asking for. IMO statements of assertion of authority, or claims of Science Says, without explanation are arrogant especially in this context. I have no problem if you don’t have time or inclination to get involved the explanatory conversations.

            Please don’t tell me what to do – weka]

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.1.1.1

              The point I’m making isn’t really about the science. It’s about the way that false claims undermine genuine arguments.

              For example, like saying the inevitable investigation into the structural issues at Statistics House will be incomplete unless it looks for shoddy materials and construction, and thermite nanoparticles. Some people might take you seriously: the investigating engineers will not be among them.

              • Andre

                That’s a little unfair to those people worried about seismic testing. Without fairly detailed science/technology knowledge, it’s quite understandable to link seismic exploration with seismic events. Particularly since there’s a well established link between oil extraction and induced seismicity.

                Whereas nanothermite…

              • weka

                And that’s a good discussion to have. The some people are the ones that that will just roll their eyes when told they’re wrong because Someone else knows better than them. I’d like to see bridges built that increase scientific and logical thinking literacy. I wonder if you are unaware of how obscure your points are some of the time, until you explain your thinking, when you generally have bloody good things to say.

                I think sometimes we lose a lot of activist ground over this particular dynamic (the science/non-technical split) because of how it plays out.

                • KJT

                  There is almost zero or no evidence that seismic testing can cause earthquakes. It is a possibility. It is also a possibility that rock concerts, with all their vibration and noise, cause earthquakes.
                  Using unverified claims like this makes it harder for those of us who have studied the subject to take protests seriously.
                  Better to say, seismic testing is a precurser to drilling when evidence shows that we cannot continue to expand the use if fossil fuels without causing worse AGW.

        • Michelle 4.1.1.2

          While there might not be any evidence that seismic testing causes earthquakes there is plenty of evidence to show what a spill is devastating does just look at the USA spill by BP it costs 40 billion now do we really want to take such risks and go there we need to learn lessons from these mistakes .

          • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.2.1

            All the more reason not to bring false arguments to the table.

            • Michelle 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Spilling is not a false argument One a …bloke we only have to look at the Rena and what has happened here a very rich group ruined our waterways and literally got away with it. This is a breach of our TOW and these breaches are continuing rampantly under our Tory government.
              Time to vote for a change the brighter future bullshert has been nothing but an aspiration.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Sorry Michelle we’re at cross-purposes: my comment is that since everything you say is true, other people adding dubious claims about earthquakes reduces the value of your argument.

                • Macro

                  Totally agree on this point – it is why I comment on the AGW posts where we have the alarmist claims of some here that the global temp is going to go through the roof in the next 10 years or what ever. There is no evidence for that and they just undermine the work of so many others making such outlandish claims.

                  • weka

                    I saw that just now in r0b’s post. The alarmist stuff also stops people from changing and acting.

                    • Macro

                      Exactly. I’m totally opposed to the search for Oil off the East Coast. And the likelihood of it being “successful” is around zero! They are only doing it because they are being subsidized by Govt who haven’t a clue wrt the potential anyway! A few years back I met a geologist/economist in WA who specialised in this sort of stuff for oil companies. His livelihood depended upon him being able to pick where would e the best places on earth to look for oil. Making a mistake can cost millions. The Nat govt was touting the prospect of oil off the east coast at the time – Brownlee et al. His response was – RUBBISH! they won’t find anything there! To date he has been right.
                      Why do we have to continue to disrupt ecosystems in a worthless search purely for the vanity of a couple of over inflated egos? And if, in the unlikely event, oil in production amounts was found, why do we need it when there is enough already on the planet to overcook us?

                    • weka

                      Does that mean that the oil companies are stupid, or they just have it built into the business model to take a number of offers regardless? Trying to make sense of that.

                      Re oil abundance, there is a time fast approaching when we will need to talk about the connection between our opposition to oil drilling locally and our dependence on oil drilling elsewhere, and what we are doing about it.

                    • McFlock

                      Does that mean that the oil companies are stupid, or they just have it built into the business model to take a number of offers regardless? Trying to make sense of that.

                      Standard risk/return model: if the government is offering absurdly cheap licensing and assistance, the companies might as well explore.

                      The odds are low, but the cost is relatively low, too. Even if they don’t find oil, they might find something else they can put in the bank later – either other deposits, or even just detailed charts they can sell to fibre cable-laying companies. But also there’s always the slim chance they’ll find something that makes geologists go “that’s odd” and makes the company billions.

          • Andre 4.1.1.2.2

            Yep. Plus, we already know globally where there’s way more oil than can reasonably be burned. So why accept the damage caused by trying to find yet more, or even consider accepting the risks of extracting it if any is found?

          • KJT 4.1.1.2.3

            Yes there is, but spills are uncommon. Anthropogenic global warming from fossil fuel use is a certainty.

    • stunned mullet 4.2

      “There are plenty of good grounds to oppose seabed mining and/or oil prospecting without resorting to pseudoscience.”

      Agreed.

      • weka 4.2.1

        Make the argument then eh? instead of just writing off people’s fears with a pejorative. If there is no risk, explain this, and personally I’d like that explanation contextualised in the fact that the public were told that fracking wasn’t a risk either.

        It’s a good opportunity to learn about the science.

        • Andre 4.2.1.1

          Ok, seismic testing involves somehow making really loud bangs at the surface or top of the seabed, then measuring the acoustic waves that reflect off different layers deep in the earth. The really loud bangs really fuck with nearby creatures that depend on acoustic sensing and pressure sensing to live their lives, but they have very little energy and don’t move around or stress large chunks of the earth. None of that acoustic energy gets stored anywhere for possible later release.

          In contrast, oil/water extraction/injection changes the stress fields and material properties over huge volumes deep within the earth over very short time periods. Those changes might be small in magnitude, but they are spread over a huge volume and can store a lot of energy.

          Those suddenly altered stress fields are then likely to relieve themselves by suddenly rupturing (ie induced earthquakes). Whereas stresses that build up over long periods of time through natural geologic processes have more of a chance to relieve themselves gently by plastic deformation.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflection_seismology

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induced_seismicity

          • weka 4.2.1.1.1

            Thanks Andre. Can you then put that in the context of people having used science to say that fracking and allied techs were safe? eg was the science wrong, were people misusing the science etc.

            This is important, because writing off people’s fears via the pejorative of ‘pseudoscience’ just creates further splits between science and the very large part of the general public who don’t trust science. I can take a guess as to what the differences might be (between fracking and this situation), but I think it’s better for people with the background to explain it clearly to increase scientific literacy.

            • stunned mullet 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Weka

              Andre has done a sterling job as above.

              I’m no fan of the “seismic gun” as the effects on marine wildlife are largely negative and well documented.

              Unfortunately this discussion has all the makings of another ‘shit fight’ of people defending entrenched positions such as whenever vaccination is mentioned on this site – hence I’m vacating this thread as of now.

            • You_Fool 4.2.1.1.1.2

              My understanding is that Big Oil was able to get their scientists to say that fracking is safe in the same way their scientists say climate change isn’t a thing… in the case of fracking they were just first off the bus because it was their thing they wanted to do

              • weka

                Thanks YF. So were the initial stories saying that fracking etc was safe was misuse of science rather than there not being good scientific evidence?

                Following it from the lay persons end, it looked more like the science hadn’t been done yet and the industry was able to say a whole bunch of shit for quite a long time until the science proved them wrong.

                • Pasupial

                  There was good quality scientific evidence, but the industry chose to diregard it:

                  In 1969 Chevron Oil allowed the USGS to use one of its wells to more closely study the effects of fluid pressure on faults. The well was in a seismically active zone of the Rangely oil reservoir in Colorado, and Chevron had been injecting water into the well to stimulate petroleum production. USGS scientists turned the injections on and off and followed the fluid pressure as it migrated through deep rocks. They came up with the exact injection pressure required to trigger quakes. When the pressure exceeded that level, earthquakes rumbled; when the pressure fell below the level, they quieted down.

                  The experiment showed that human-triggered earthquakes could be controlled by adjusting wastewater-injection pressure. Unfortunately, the lessons of Rangely and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal were apparently forgotten by the early 2000s, when fossil-fuel companies embarked on the shale-gas boom. “Scores of papers on injection-induced earthquakes were published in the geophysical literature in the following 40-plus years, and the problem was well understood and appreciated by seismologists,”

                  https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/drilling-for-earthquakes/

                • KJT

                  The industry were well aware of the effects of fracking, just as they are aware of AGW.
                  Exxon, and others, deliberately fudged the science, paying their own people to mis -represent the science. Tobacco companies were the first to do it.
                  Unfortunately the general public does not have access to scientific journals and papers.
                  Most people have to rely on “journalists” Interpretations.

            • Andre 4.2.1.1.1.3

              The people that claim fracking doesn’t cause earthquakes are in the same position of those that claimed smoking is safe, or asbestos is safe, or climate denial: they’re ignoring the vast majority of evidence in favour of a few cherry-picked bits of data. It’s the usual story of vested interests getting their story out first, so it sticks because it takes a long time for the effects to show and the evidence to become clear.

              In the case of seismic testing, it was used widely long before fracking so there’s a long history of it being used in a wide variety of places without inducing earthquakes, with no physically plausible mechanism for it to actually cause earthquakes. Whereas with fracking, there are many instances of earthquakes starting shortly after starting fracking, in areas with no history of earthquakes, coupled with a physically plausible cause-and-effect mechanism.

              How to separate good science from pseudo-science from outright bullshit is a topic way beyond the constraints of random blog comments and my limited communication skills. But in short, credible science comes down to a convergence of all the available evidence (no cherry-picking), plausible mechanisms for the effect, repeatability, predictive ability for new situations, coherence with other established science, and an absence of credible alternatives.

              • weka

                cheers, I will update the post.

                (see my comment to YF above, re the knowledge process on fracking)

              • KJT

                First thing is to ask. “Who paid for the research?”.
                I would take a study that says “coffee is good for you”, for example, seriously if it came from an independent Ph D student, than i would from someone
                paid a scholarship from, say, Robert Harris

    • Yes my main opposition is the distruption to marine mammals. The earthquake stuff I need some evidence for.

      I should have read the post better 😐

      • Michelle 4.3.1

        who cares your right marty mars those driller can f… of

      • Pasupial 4.3.2

        Note that the terminology used is; “seismic event”, not “earthquake”. I suspect that there has been a game of Broken Telephone (Chinese Whispers) played between the people who read and discussed the research, and the person who wrote the press release. Unfortunately, I didn’t bookmark the articles I now only vaguely recall myself, so this attempt to clarify may only further obscure the point.

        As I understand it, the seismic blasting does not usually show the oil itself, but can reveal geological structures which have in the past been associated with hydrocarbon finds. However, there are naturally occurring oil seeps which are of particular interest to the prospectors and so come in for increased examination. The problem here is that these seeps occur at fracture points, so that bombarding them with air-gun pulses may cause the rate of seepage to increase. This would be a; negative event caused by a seismic source, but not what a geologist would mean by a; “seismic event”.

        On land they sometimes just dill a hole and use explosives to create the pulse. If the energy produced by air-guns has a similar magnitude, then imagine throwing sticks of dynamite at the SH1 landslides to see if there is anything underneath. It might not cause new earthquakes, but it would likely create a lot of damage because of the area’s instability:

        Explosives, such as dynamite, can be used as crude but effective sources of seismic energy… Generally, the explosive charges are placed between 6 and 76 metres (20 and 250 ft) below ground, in a hole that is drilled with dedicated drilling equipment for this purpose. This type of seismic drilling is often referred to as “Shot Hole Drilling”.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seismic_source

        • weka 4.3.2.1

          So how big a seismic event is possible? I saw something the other day about concern that the trench system off the coast of Kaikoura could now be unstable and that if there are undersea landslides they could trigger a no warning tsunami (various opinions on how likely that is). I think the theory was that the aftershocks might collapse recently unstable land there.

          So if the seismic testing had been planned for along that area would it make sense to not do it because of risk, or is there no risk because the force of the blasts isn’t enough to cause a problem?

          As an aside, does the increased seepage cause pollution or is it still within normal ocean amounts?

          • Pasupial 4.3.2.1.1

            I tried typing keywords into google this morning, but couldn’t find the paper I semi-recall from a couple of weeks, maybe a month, ago. I’m not about to invent facts when I just don’t know (and at the moment I am again being time-jacked by the obsessive need to follow another country’s politics, so I’m not about to resume researching).

            One thing I do recall was a bind the (maybe Canadian?) researchers found themselves in. The best way to find marine fracture seepage was to use seismic blasting. But doing so might distort the evidence they were trying to reveal (plus risk increased pollution). Also, this morning; while surfing through various pieces that had promising sounding titles, I saw something about natural seepage accounting for around 10% of ocean hydrocarbons. There was some runoff from shipping and coastal urban, but 80+% being from drilling leakage. However, the only citation I can give is once again; somewhere on the internet.

  4. Pasupial 5

    Some local governments are solidly against deep sea oil exploration. If yours’ isn’t already, then maybe you could make a submission that they should speak up too:

    Yesterday, councillors were required to vote on the local authority’s draft submission to the Government’s ”block offer” for next year, when the Government invites applications for permits to explore for petroleum resources, primarily oil and gas, in defined blocks of land and sea… Auckland and Christchurch city councils had opposed the offers…

    Cr Andrew Whiley, who drew derisive laughter at times from Oil Free Otago supporters in the public gallery, asked about feedback from the community that opposed the block offer.
    ”Are you referring to the silent majority or vocal minority?” Cr Whiley asked.
    Ms Ioannou said submissions were consistently opposed to exploration…

    Crs David Benson-Pope, Garey, Hawkins, Marie Laufiso, Newell, O’Malley, Chris Staynes, Kate Wilson and Mr Cull voted for the submission opposing the block offer.
    Crs Whiley, Conrad Stedman, Mike Lord and Doug Hall voted against, while Cr Rachel Elder abstained.
    Cr Vandervis had left the room to attend an appointment when the vote was taken.

    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/dcc/council-green-grass-oil-exploration-issue

    It’s good to recall councillors voting history when they come up for re-election. The reason Whiley drew so much laughter is role as; “spokesman for Pro Gas Otago”, means he is hardly impartial.

    • weka 5.1

      Heh.

      Are all councils going to have to vote on this, or is it just those that think it’s an issue?

      • The Southland Regional council voted on this today, following my motion that the council oppose the Government’s proposal to offer the two Southland blocks to the oil industry. The motion was lost, despite prolonged and heated debate (read about it in tomorrow’s Southland Times) 🙂

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          Have you seen the other councils decisions? Is the Southland one different because it is inshore and therefore likely to be seen to bring different benefits?

          • Robert Guyton 5.1.1.1.1

            I have, weka. They are, it has to be said, not regional councils, as ours is. However, their stand is symbolic in the ways ours should have been, imo. There is no justification, I believe, for any council to remain silent or even neutral at the prospect of new oil, coal or gas extraction. Not now.

            • Pasupial 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I seem to recall that some in Invercargill were keen to host drilling operations from Bluff, when Dunedin was looking too hostile to Anadarko. Maybe the same thinking here?

              Thanks for making the effort and at least getting those councilors in favour of deep sea drilling to identify themselves to the voters. I am sure you did your best.

              • Thanks, parsupial. I had to be adroit to avoid being boxed in by the chair’s efforts to close the discussion, but I’d made plans and employed the “point of order” strategy twice, to good effect. I didn’t expect to gain a majority for the vote but did want to bring the issue to the forefront. Water on the rock and coverage in The Southland Times. There will be ripples. One of the blocks is onshore, hence the presence of a farmer presenting objections, which he did very well indeed. I believe some councillors cannot differentiate between fossil fuels that are already in storage or in active wells and those that are yet to be exploited, such as those potentially under the farms of Southland, “we can’t live without oil” is the behind the scenes expressed view.

  5. KJT 6

    It is significant, that our Governments first reaction to the Paris agreement was to open bidding for more exploration blocks. After making protesting at sea equivalent to an act of terrorism
    In other words, no one in National takes AGW seriously, whether they believe the science, or not.

    • Eric Roy, past Deputy Speaker of the House and National party MP, now councillor for Environment Southland, went into bat for the fracking industry at today’s meeting, citing his first-hand experience visiting fracking operations overseas.

      • corokia 6.1.1

        Are the proposed Southland blocks likely to be fracked?
        Thought they were the- lets f*ck the climate with conventional (albeit very deep) off shore oil and gas drilling- variety.
        Guess the fossil fuel cheerleader Roy thought he’d try and impress the locals with his overseas anecdotes.
        Good on you Robert for proposing the motion. At least you tried and it goes down in the record that you did so. And when the extremely pissed off next generations go looking for who to blame, Eric Roy and the others are clearly named.

  6. Corokia – I don’t blame Eric – his belief is genuine, I think. He does come across though, as a cheerleader for the industry. The on-shore block in Southland is huge and has been explored before. I’m assuming there are significant reserves beneath farms from Tuatapere to Lumsden. I believe the council has a moral obligation to state its opposition to releasing fossil fuels from beneath the regions soil. Our obligations under the RMA are not affected by such an expression of opinion, I believe. Some councillors argued strenuously in favour of the council adopting a neutral stance, Chairman Horrell in particular. I hope his views are included in the (expected) article tomorrow. I’ll post the online report here.

  7. Environment Southland urged to oppose oil and gas exploration in the south

    As promised.

    “When they had finished speaking, Environment Southland councillor Robert Guyton moved a motion for the council to oppose the Government’s 2017 block offer proposal for two oil and gas permits in Southland.

    He received voting support from councillors Maurice Rodway and Rowly Currie, but they were out-voted by councillors on the strategy and policy committee.

    Environment Southland chairman Nicol Horrell, who believed there were insufficient substitutes to fossil fuels at this stage, said if the council opposed the Government’s block offers now it would take it out of discussions further down the track.

    “It’s appropriate to remain neutral at this stage.”

    However, a council staffer said the council would still be able to make submissions on the issue in future.”

    • weka 8.1

      “Environment Southland chairman Nicol Horrell, who believed there were insufficient substitutes to fossil fuels at this stage”

      Yeah, but it’s not like the oil is going to be give to Southland right? It’s going to be given to a private company who will sell it offshore.

      Questions…

      It was a sub committee vote, not the whole council?

      “[Horrell] said if the council opposed the Government’s block offers now it would take it out of discussions further down the track.”

      What discussions and why would the council be taken out of them?

      Any chance Ngāi Tahu will oppose?

      Can you explain what a neutral stance is in this situation?

  8. Hi weka – good questions:
    yes, the motion was put to a subcommittee (strategy and policy) as the public presentations had to be made before today, the closing date for submissions to the Government. The motion was amended to refer the motion to full council, but the majority voted that down.
    Nicol Horrell’s argument was, I believe, “insufficient” on many fronts.
    Horrell means that the council could be challenged, were it to serve as the decision maker at consenting time, having expressed an opinion previously. I believe that,just as a councilor can express an opinion but still sit on a hearing panel with an open mind, as we are trained to do, a council can do likewise. In any case, independent commissioners can be called in for the hearing and the council can submit at that hearing. I don’t know what Ngai Tahu’s position will be. I feel I know what it should be, but, he aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata. I would like to debate that sometime, that whole anthropocentric belief 🙂
    The neutral stance the council has opted for means what ever they want it to mean and feels safe to a risk averse institution, imo. I believe elected representatives should now speak out about serious issues and extraction of fossil fuels is a biggy. Agricultural greenhouse gases is another, but that’s for our next meeting of council (on the agenda already 🙂

    • weka 9.1

      Thanks! That helps to understand what is going on at the local body level.

      I always had problem with that whakatauki myself, so would likewise be interested in a korero some time.

      • I’ve never heard of it being challenged. I brought up the issue of “people centred” focus at the council earlier this week, with regards the visions we hold and are adjusting, but there was no recognition of what I was talking about. I mentioned the word “altruism” but that brought an immediate negative reaction. At yesterdays discussion on Predator Free NZ 2050, I tried again but the resulting blank looks reflected those earlier disengaged stares 🙂 Factoring in concepts other than “humans rule” is difficult in those forums.

        • Macro 9.1.1.1

          We have a similar situation developing here in the Coromandel. We need to see just how Te Tiriti settlements finally fall.

  9. CoroDale 10

    It’s not science connecting seismic tech and quakes, it’s God. Every time we let US warships in our waters, God punishes our stupidity with seismic national disasters. But God reminds us to look on the bright side of life. Appreciate the asset prices.

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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    2 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    3 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    3 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    3 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    4 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    4 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    4 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    5 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    6 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    2 weeks ago